• Pandagon Reunion: Class of '05

    As you've probably noticed, Jesse Taylor, of Pandagon fame and Springer for Ohio fortune, posted this morning. He's in town for my 21st -- yes, I'm that young -- which should put the lie to lingering suspicions of our furious fallout. Which isn't to say he didn't, in fact, steal the money, just that I have no proof. In any case, we have to keep up appearances, so he'll be posting here during his stay. Expect more funny. Speaking of the big 21st, I've a midterm on Monday (my birthday), Tuesday (my hangover), and Wednesday, so his contributions are much appreciated, and should keep the site humming along nicely where it'd otherwise crash into my workload, littering my dorm room with mangled neurons and empty Starbucks cups. Also, on Tuesday, we're going to hold court hang out at a Westwood bar for the evening and have a little blogger/reader get together. If you'd like to drop by, shoot me an e-mail. Otherwise, you'll probably hear more about it as it gets closer.
  • CAP's Energy Plan

    I'm a bit less impressed than Brad with CAP's energy plan , but I think that's because it's not, in fact, an energy plan, but a set of responses to soaring oil prices. For some reason, I didn't read the title ("A Progressive Response to High Oil and Gasoline Prices") and was sur[rised at how unambitious it was. Moral of the story? Read titles. Anyway, I'm rambling, here's the plan: • Scrap and Replace: Less affluent drivers tend to stick with old, inefficient cars for much longer than we'd hope simply because they can't afford the replacement costs. If we could motivate them to switch to newer vehicles, the fuel savings would be tremendous. The CAP plan offers two options. In one, the government purchases an extremely large number of fuel-efficient cars and leases them at enormously favorable terms to qualifying individuals. Added bonus: CAP doesn't mention this, but it could act as an excellent bail-out for the struggling American auto industry, particularly if the government forced...
  • History: For Chumps, By Chumps, Of Chumps

    Well, hell-freakin'-o, Kleinians. After an amicable split between Ezra and myself over at Pandagon, I've seen his success over here, and decided that I miss him too much. As such, I'm kicking him off this site and taking over...again. Soon, I will invite a feminist blogger on, institute a Sad Panda policy, and the cycle shall begin anew. In an otherwise unremarkable "liberals hate public prayer" piece, Mark Alexander manages to discombobulate and disorient history in a despicable and disgusting way...dude. He reminded us that in our nation's supreme founding document, the Declaration of Independence, "...our Founders ... declared it a self-evident truth that our right to liberty comes from God." Let's play Spot The Inaccuracy. First prize is a digital 4-by-6 image of something in Los Angeles. (Hey, we work with what we got.) Can the Declaration of Independence be our "nation's supreme founding document"? Particularly since the nation wasn't founded until 11 years after it was written...
  • Blast From The Past

    You'll see.
  • Site Help

    Typepad suggested that I take the test site off the template this site is using and see if that fixes things. I'm skeptical, but now it's done. Did it fix things?
  • The Populist is Dead, Long Live the Populist!

    Matt's post using the liberal establishment's widespread apathy, and indeed, antipathy towards Dick Gephardt's candidacy as evidence that the designation "left" now turns more on things like war, the environment, and gay rights than on economic populism may be true, but I'm having trouble with it. Gephardt was abandoned by all sort and manner of folk because, after his time in the House, no one liked him. He was dull, ineffective, opportunistic -- yawns directed at his candidacy were aimed at the man, not the policy platform. That said, Edwards got a fair run of great press for seriously taking on poverty and making class an issue. Indeed, of all the candidates (save maybe Dean), he's the only one I hear anyone talking about in a policy sense, an odd outcome considering his reputation as a lightweight but a wholly understandable one if you think, as I do, that many Democrats are thirsting for an authentic populist. But when Edwards' populism-lite is sparking fires, you know you've a...
  • Site Stuff

    So...still problems, I take it? I'm corresponding with Typepad about what's going on, but they're not necessarily being too helpful. At least not yet. In comments, a lot of you are noticing bits of code that seem problematic. I didn't write the code and don't really know what to do with it. Shakespeare's Sister kindly did the work, but she's not a professional coder either. If any of you guys are professionals and feel like you could hunt around under the hood and clear up the contradictions, problems, and issues, I'd love for you to give it a try. The whole college thing makes me decidedly not rich, but I'll happily send someone $25 or $50 to blow at Amazon if they're willing to help out. So if you are an experienced coder willing to help me on the cheap, shoot me an e-mail .
  • Kerry 08 Can Wait

    James Joyner gets Kerry's problem right : Clinton has shrewdly focused on her Senate duties first, not only building chits within her party but demonstrating that she was more than a show pony. Kerry would be wise to do the same if he wants another shot at the brass ring. Kerry's problems, unfortunately, are innate. His every action comes across as that of a striver, a comer, an opportunist. It's not just that he lacks the effortless ascendence of yesteryear's wasp's and aristocrats, but he's also missing the self-evident social consciousness that distinguishes do-gooders. So when our inboxes fill up with his proposals to extend health care to the young or increase military pay, they seem less the ideas of a committed reformer and more a pre-plotted path Kerry's hoping will lead him to the White House. That's not his fault, at least in a conscious sense. I've no doubt Kerry does care for children, veterans, and society's least and needy, but his pre-2004 lack of distinguishing...
  • Protecting Predators

    Doesn't this sound more like a Saturday Night Live, or, in fact, MAD TV skit than an actual strategy tried out on the floor of Congress? About a week ago, the House Judiciary Committee was prepared to approve the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act. Dem committee members offered some fairly reasonable amendments to shield some parties from criminal responsibility...For example, one amendment, offered by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), sought to exempt “cab drivers, bus drivers and others in the business transportation profession from the criminal provisions in the bill.” So, if an underage woman takes a bus to another state to have an abortion, the bus driver, who probably wouldn’t have any knowledge of the abortion, couldn’t be charged with a federal crime. Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) not only helped kill the amendment, he decided to rephrase it for the official record: "Mr. Scott offered an amendment that would have exempted sexual predators from...
  • Crying Wolf

    In Krugman's otherwise good article on bargaining for pharmaceuticals, he makes a really poor argument on a really important point: Needless to say, apologists for the law insist that the prohibition on price negotiations had nothing to do with catering to special interests - that it was a matter of principle, of preserving incentives to innovate. How can we refute this defense? One way is to challenge claims that the pharmaceutical industry needs high prices to innovate. In her book "The Truth About the Drug Companies," Marcia Angell, the former editor in chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, shows convincingly that drug companies spend far more on marketing than they do on research - and that much of the marketing is designed to sell "me, too" drugs, which are no better than the cheaper drugs they replace. It should be possible to pay less for medicine, yet encourage more real innovation. Sigh. That's not an important comparison, though. The drug companies are saying...